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Top 10 Delaware real estate sales of 2021

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This past year has seen a significant uptick in high-value commercial property sales statewide, with Barclays’ purchase of its Christina Crescent headquarters in Wilmington’s Riverfront topping all sales in at least a decade. In fact, half of the top 10 sales of the past decade occurred this year, according to data compiled by Reonomy. The other four properties on the decade list were all multifamily complexes, with six such properties making this year’s top 10.

Although some sales of undeveloped lots with planned projects would have made our Top 10 list based on sale value, we only considered improved properties for our rankings, which were determined through Reonomy data and Delaware Business Times research.

Pettinaro made a splash when it sold the iconic Christina Crescent building at the Riverfront for a record price in October. | PHOTO COURTESY OF PETTINARO

1. Christina Crescent $83M

Buyer: Barclays

Address: 125-135 S West St., Wilmington

The multinational Barclays Bank recently made its long-term commitment to the city via the acquisition of its longtime U.S. operations headquarters for $83 million, one of the largest deals for a single building in Delaware in many years. Barclays, which employed just under 1,100 people in the state as of June, has leased space in the Christina Crescent Building on the Riverfront since arriving in Delaware in 2004. The $83 million deal, closed Oct. 1, will see the bank take ownership of the 279,000-square-foot Class A trophy building, according to county land records. Sitting at the focal gateway to the Riverfront area, the building won numerous awards for its architectural design that features an open-air leg on its eastern side.

Spring Crossings Apartments in Glasgow was recently sold to a New Jersey investment firm for $56 million, marking the largest multi-family deal of the year in Delaware. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

2. Spring Crossings $56M

Buyer: Capital Management

Address: 41 Winterhaven Drive, Newark

A New Jersey real estate investment firm bought the Spring Crossings Apartments for $56 million, marking the biggest multifamily sale of the year amid a hot New Castle County real estate market. Capital Management, an owner-operator of multifamily complexes primarily in New Jersey, acquired the 362-unit complex formerly known as Spring Gardens from a joint venture led by New Jersey-based Concordia Properties in a Aug. 31 deal that wasn’t officially recorded until Oct. 20, according to county property records.

The Edge at Greentree, a 286-unit community in Claymont, was recently acquired by a New York-based investment firm. | DBT PHOTO BY MIKE ROCHELEAU

3. The Edge at Greentree $51.5M

Buyer: Yellowstone Property Group

Address: 1000 Cedartree Lane, Claymont

A New York real estate investment firm has acquired The Edge at Greentree apartments in a $51.5 million deal, the largest multi-family sale this year in Delaware and one of the largest single commercial transactions in recent years, according to county land records. The 286-unit apartment building off Naamans Road near the Interstate 95 interchange was acquired by a limited liability company connected to Yellowstone Property Group of Pomona, N.Y. Led by principals Hillel Markowitz and Stuart Zelmanovitz, Yellowstone has a considerable number of holdings in Connecticut as well as others in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Indiana, and Pennsylvania, but this is their first investment in Delaware.

Eagle Meadows Dover

Eagle Meadows, a single-family rental community near Dover Air Force Base, was among the largest multi-family sales this year. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

4. Eagle Meadows $48M

Buyer: AJH Management

Address: 4666 Carolina Ave., Dover

AJH Management, a little-known New Jersey-based multifamily real estate investment firm and operator, made a splash in Delaware this year by quietly acquiring two large communities. It started with this July acquisition of the 298-unit community near the Dover Air Force Base from previous owner, Morgan Properties. It ultimately paid more than $161,000 per unit.

The 204-unit complex sold for $43 million, buoying OA Companies’ future endeavors. | PHOTO COURTESY OF GOOGLE MAPS

5. Carillon Woods $43M

Buyer: Merion Realty Partners

Address: 34011 Harvard Ave., Millsboro

A Pennsylvania real estate investment firm has bought the Carillon Woods apartments in a $43 million deal, marking one of the largest multi-family sales in the state this year. The 204-unit apartment complex off Indian Mission Road near Route 24 was acquired by the Merion Realty Partners of Wynnewood, Pa. Led by principals William Landman and Richard Aljian, Merion has several holdings in Florida, New Jersey and Connecticut. This marks the first investment in the First State for the vertically integrated investor of multi-family apartments.

The future Chestnut Run Innovation & Science Park has already signed DuPont and the biopharma startup Prelude Therapeutics as tenants. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

6. Chestnut Run $40M

Buyer: MRA Group

Address: 984 Centre Road, Wilmington

In November, Pennsylvania-based developer MRA Group closed its acquisition of a large chunk of DuPont’s Chestnut Run headquarters campus, which it will turn into a $500 million research and innovation park. Nearly one year ago, DuPont and MRA, based in Horsham, Pa., announced that they had signed a sale agreement for about 780,000 square feet in about 13 laboratories at the campus off Route 141. MRA ultimately paid $40 million for the parcel, according to county land records.

DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

7. The Villas $37.25M

Buyer: AJH Management

Address: 21 Villas Drive, New Castle

The second of AJH’s acquisitions came in August, when it bought The Villas, a 240-unit complex off Route 273 near the Route 1 interchange, from its previous owner, Korman. This sale translated to a price of more than $155,000 per unit.

New Jersey-based firm Montium recently acquired the Iron Hill Apartments near Newark, marking its third Delaware investment. | PHOTO COURTESY OF TRANSWESTERN

8. Iron Hill Apartments $32.1M

Buyer: Montium

Address: 2 Burleigh Court, Newark

A New Jersey-based real estate investment firm bought the Iron Hill Apartments in October for $32.1 million, continuing a hot multifamily real estate market in the state. Montium, an owner-operator of multifamily complexes across the Mid-Atlantic region, acquired the 234-unit complex from Maryland-based firm Rimsi Corp. on Oct. 5, according to county property records. The complex, located off Old Baltimore Pike southeast of Newark, features 78 units each of one-, two- and three-bedroom units. The sale price translates to a per unit cost of more than $137,000.

PHOTO COURTESY OF BLUEWATER DEVELOPMENT CORPORTATION

9. Bethany Beach Ocean Suites $32M

Buyer: EOS Investors

Address: 99 Hollywood St., Bethany Beach

A New York-based hospitality investment firm has bought two Bethany Beach hotels for a combined $44 million, according to Sussex County land records. EOS Investors LLC, a private 4-year-old firm founded by Jonathan Wang, bought both Bethany Beach Ocean Suites and The Holiday Inn Express Bethany Beach, on May 19. The property was sold by Bluewater Development Corporation, a real estate development firm based in Ocean City, Md.

PHOTO COURTESY OF COSTAR GROUP

10. BJ’s Millsboro $26.03M

Buyer: Spirit Realty

Address: 26676 Centerview Drive, Millsboro

New York-based real estate investment firm DRA Partners offloaded this property holding a BJ’s store in Peninsula Crossing in January to Spirit Realty Capital, a Dallas-based investment firm. It was the largest retail sale of the year in Delaware.

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